"I don't know if we're keeping our head above water, but I feel like we're treading water, whatever that means," Phils manager Charlie Manuel said after Sunday's 5-1 loss. "I feel like we've got to play a lot better. We can't get far behind. But I know this, I know we've got to pick it up if we're going to do that. I think in the past week we've shown every now and then we can have a good game, and we can look like a pretty good team."
The Phils (10-12) fell Sunday by the same score they lost on Friday against Chicago (8-14). Philadelphia remains under .500 and did not capitalize on the three-game losing streak the National League East-leading Nationals carried into Sunday. The last time the Phillies had a sub-.500 April was in 2007, when they went 11-14 in the month.
Scoring is paramount. The Phillies have 70 runs, which puts them in the bottom four in the Majors.
"I expect us to score runs," Manuel said. "I expect us to hit some balls hard during the night. But if you don't hit the ball hard ... you can have some luck hits and you can have some things go your way, but at the same you've got to hit some balls hard in the game, consistently move the ball, especially at the Major League level. We've been inconsistent at that."
A win for the Cubs on Monday would give them consecutive series wins for the first time this season. They took two of three from the Cardinals last week.
Cubs manager Dale Sveum expects catcher Geovany Soto to return to the lineup on Monday after missing two games with mild tightness in his upper back.
Cubs: Volstad looking for first win
Chris Volstad, part of the Carlos Zambrano deal with the Marlins, is 0-3 with a 6.14 ERA in his first four starts with Chicago, but his winless stretch dates back further. Since July 10, 2011, when Volstad was the winner for Florida in a 5-4 victory over the Astros, he's gone 0-8 with a 4.59 ERA in 15 starts.
Scheduled to take the hill on Monday, Volstad gave up four runs in six innings his last time out on Wednesday in a 5-1 loss to the Cardinals.
"If he pitches like he did last game, he'll be OK," Sveum said. "He gave up one late-inning, two-run homer to one of the best hitters [David Freese] in the game. Other than that, he pitched with a lot of conviction, pitching inside to the right-handers and really going after guys with the sinker. So if he keeps that mentality, he'll be fine."
Phillies: Worley continuing to roll
At some point in a sophomore campaign, a ballplayer can quiet the doubts that his rookie season was lucky or a flash in the pan or any of that. Vance Worley is getting to that point, if he hasn't already.
The Phillies' right-hander will be on an extra days' rest in Monday's scheduled start. He gave up one run in six innings in an 8-5 Phils victory over the D-backs on Tuesday -- one day after Kyle Kendrick lasted just three innings.
"I knew I needed to help the [bullpen] guys out," Worley said. "They had a long day the day before. The more I can limit their innings, the better. They count on all the starters to go as deep as they can, so their arms are fresh."
The Phillies have never lost a series to the Cubs at Citizens Bank Park, going 7-0-1. The series that was split was a two-gamer, in 2010.